PPA Asks Congress to Crack Down on Rogue Websites

In our digital world, it is highly likely that your photographic work has fallen victim to online infringement at some time. PPA recognizes this fact and encourages Congress to provide copyright owners with a method of pursuing widespread infringers. 

In a letter to all 535 members of Congress on February 15, 2011, PPA reminds Congress of the importance of securing the Internet and developing enforcement mechanisms to address infringing websites.  The letter touts S.3084 – Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeit Act (COICA), introduced in the 111th Congress, and urges them to once again put forward legislation that will protect both creators and consumers by strengthening the laws that protect against online piracy.

Our message is sent to the Hill during a time when both the U.S. House and Senate Committees on the Judiciary are tackling the topic of intellectual property.  “It is our hope that legislation similar to COICA will advance to a vote this Congress,” comments David Trust, PPA’s chief executive officer.  “We’re delighted to see that they’re getting a head start on pushing through a bill that is crucial to a professional photographer’s ability to defend against online copyright infringement.”

This renewed focus on intellectual property and online piracy comes in the wake of two announcements made by the White House.  The first is the administration’s eventual release of legislation to address digital copyrights. No specific wording has been released up to now, but any legislative proposal will likely come from the Office of the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC).  The possibility that such legislation would be introduced was included in the IPEC’s 2010 annual report.

The second development is the creation of the “Intellectual Property Enforcement Advisory Committees.”  These committees were mandated by the PRO-IP Act that created the IPEC position. They consist of representatives from a number of executive branch agencies that directly or indirectly address intellectual property issues.

It looks to be an exciting time on Capitol Hill and Pennsylvania Avenue throughout 2011, and we will continue to watch and make photographers’ needs known on these intellectual property issues.

Steps You Can Take Now
To encourage your senator or congressperson to support or sponsor legislation combatting rogue sites, visit the Contact Congress page to call, write, or email.

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